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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2010, Vol. 41, No. 3, Pages 471-485
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00005)
© 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Verbless Sentences and Clause Structure
Article PDF (89.41 KB)
Abstract

Present tense verbless sentences involve a full clausal structure and not a reduced structure of the kind familiar under the term small clause. This article presents two new arguments in favor of this view. These arguments are based on differences between root verbless sentences and familiar instances of small clauses (rather than on similarities between present tense verbless sentences and verbal sentences in other tenses, as in Benmamoun 2008). The arguments presented in this article provide substantial evidence bearing on the fundamental issue of what a clausal structure needs to have in order to qualify as an independent nonelliptical utterance.